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The big talking points and questions out of Round 6


Round 6 is complete with eight enthralling games taking place over the weekend.

The round looked to have plenty of even battles across it in the lead-up, and that certainly plays out over the weekend with several interesting results popping up.

We saw teams make statements, upsets occur and shocking losses for sides that we thought were better than what they are showing.

With that in mind, here’s what we learned from the weekend’s results.

Collingwood’s DNA is back and the results are coming with it

Collingwood were nowhere in the first three weeks of the season, but their last fortnight showed signs that they were slowly recapturing their best footy.

After Saturday’s 123-81 win over Port Adelaide, we know that they’re well and truly back to doing what they do best.

Collingwood’s pressure, unselfishness and hunting ground balls - all assets that led to the 2023 flag - were huge standouts on Saturday afternoon as they fought back from an early 31-point deficit to absolutely dominate a pretty strong opposition.

The Magpies haven’t played footy like that against a top-six team since early in the 2023 campaign … they would be thrilled to at least know that their best footy is at times unstoppable.

If they can keep that form going on Anzac Day, the Pies will well and truly have arrested their poor start and will put themselves in a position to really launch into 2024 and mount a genuine flag defence.

It’s official - fortress Gabba is no longer

After two early home losses, just about everyone thought that Brisbane couldn’t lose three games in a row at the Gabba … but alas, we’re here now.

While the Lions shot themselves in the foot with poor kicking in slippery conditions up north going down to Geelong 37-63, teams simply aren’t scared of the Gabba anymore.

After being at the top for so long, the best sides in the comp are going to work on what Brisbane does well and are simply shutting down those players that make things tick.

At 2-4 with an away game against GWS at Manuka Oval on the horizon, there’s every chance that the Lions are 2-5 this time next week with their hopes of top four basically dashed already.

Their recent success has been built off their dominance at home.

If they no longer have that, the Lions will become what they are now - a middle-of-the-road team that is good on their day, but not the force that they once were.

Carlton is the early No. 1 seed

While GWS is still the bookies’ favourite to win the flag, it really should be Carlton who holds that mantle after Saturday’s 117-98 win over the Giants.

It was a win full of merit for the Blues who fought back from a half-time deficit to in the end win comfortably against the best opposition you could throw at them.

The win was built on the back of a midfield domination with Patrick Cripps (39 disposals) and Sam Walsh (35 disposals) a ridiculous one-two punch which led to a 48-32 clearance win.

Given that their injury list is building too, Carlton proved that they have the squad depth to match it with any side in 2024 and the system that stacks up against top-four opposition, no matter the cattle at their disposal.

A huge clash with an unbeaten Geelong faces them on Saturday before they face the reigning premiers Collingwood the week after.

Win those two games, and they’ll officially hold the title they deserve of that No. 1 seed.

Harley Reid is making North’s Round 24 win from last year look more disastrous by the week

If you didn’t already know, the Harley Reid hype is real … so, so real.

After his huge performance last week against the Tigers, Reid was genuinely unlucky not to be awarded best on in Saturday’s Derby win over Fremantle as the 19-year-old helped himself to three goals, 19 disposals and seven clearances.

He’s already looking every bit that player that’s been compared to the most damaging mid/forwards in the AFL … the fact that he’s doing it to this level, this early makes it even scarier.

He would be doing it in North Melbourne colours too, if they’d just lost that Round 24 game last season to Gold Coast.

While the Roos said at the time that they had to prioritise winning over Reid, there’s no way that four points was worth more than having this budding superstar on your list for the next decade and longer.

Yes, the Roos have some absolute young guns, but none are as exciting as Reid.

It’s a meaningless result that will continue to be talked about across Reid’s career as he inevitably goes from strength to strength in Eagles colours.

Yes the umpires cost Adelaide, but Essendon were the better side on Friday

The AFL surprisingly admitted they were wrong and cost Adelaide a chance of winning their Friday night game against Essendon by not awarding a late free-kick against Sam Draper in front of goal.

While the Crows might feel hard done by to again miss out on a crucial four points, there’s no way that they could say they were the better team on Friday night.

The end scoreline read 75-78 in Essendon’s favour, but expected score had the Dons winning 63-84.

That score showed the real difference between the sides, with Essendon’s away win fully deserved and full of merit.

The now 4-2 Dons are a more than competent team in 2024 under Brad Scott.

Win on Anzac Day against the Pies and there’s no doubt that the talk of finals will really ramp up.

It’s going to be a big test … let’s see if they can answer it.

It’s a big week for St Kilda

Last week we said that it was a big week for the Bulldogs, but they rebounded brilliantly with their 64-124 win over St Kilda.

Now, the heat is on the losers from that game, with the Saints now 2-4 through six games.

While there’s no doubt St Kilda have had a difficult draw to start the year, they were so far off the pace on Friday night that it wasn’t funny … and that was against a team that we thought was on an even pegging against them.

The Saints were thrashed in the midfield under the roof, and their much-vaunted defence was cracked open by the Dogs who scored at will all night.

They next face a Port Adelaide side - that also has a bit to prove - on Friday at the Adelaide Oval.

Another loss there would consign them to 2-5 and the likelihood of playing from behind all season.

Win, and they’re 3-4 with the Hawks and Roos to come in the following fortnight.

It’s a must-win game for Ross Lyon’s side pretty early in the season.

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